If you have an LG G Watch R, you're probably aware of the Wi-Fi drama following Android Wear 5.1.1's release for the watch. While Google had announced Wi-Fi support for the platform's update in general, it turned out that the G Watch R didn't have the certifications necessary to boast that function, although technically the hardware was very capable of it. LG then let us know that it's working on a patch to enable Wi-Fi (and presumably on getting all the right certifications) but that it wouldn't be released before July. Read More
Today at a press event during Computex, ASUS announced many new Android products, and I'm guessing you'll be intrigued by at least one of them.
Let's get to the headliner: the big news with the ZenWatch 2 is that it now comes in two sizes - 37mm and 41mm (width). The smaller 37mm sports an 18mm strap, with the 41mm having a larger 22mm band. Both have AMOLED dipslays with Gorilla Glass 3, IP67 dust and water resistance, magnetic charging cables, and use unspecified Qualcomm processors (likely still a Snapdragon 400). Read More
A couple weeks back, we reported on a widespread problem with OK Google "From any screen" (AKA "OK Google Everywhere") on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Namely, it was gone. While the hotword still worked from the Google Now Launcher and other third party launchers with such functionality hacked in, most S6 and S6 Edge owners were unable to use the "from any screen" functionality because the option simply disappeared. Read More
Smart Lock Passwords is Google's recent and ambitious attempt at simplifying logins everywhere, be it apps on Android or websites on Chrome. The functionality first showed up on the Android M Developer Preview then quickly went live for older versions of Android and got its own web interface.
Because the idea behind Smart Lock is that you only have to be logged into your Google account, and sign into your various apps / sites once for the credentials to be associated with your account and used automatically going forward, Google had a very interesting code name for the option that Artem picked up at I/O from one of the company's engineers: YOLO. Read More
As Googler Andy Bohm notes on G+, Google's Privacy team didn't appear on stage during the I/O keynote this year, but that doesn't mean the team didn't have anything awesome to talk about. Specifically, Google has launched a revitalized account management interface. The new My Account page injects privacy and security settings with simple navigation, easily understood explanations, and tons of awesome illustrations to walk users through checking, changing, and otherwise managing their account/privacy settings.
Chances are your Google account has a lot of information about you, and managing that information is important, so it's nice to see continued efforts from Google to make that process easier to understand and execute (Google's privacy checkup took me <60 seconds before finishing this post). Read More
Amazon's voice-controlled, web-connected life manager thing, the Echo, is about as close as you can get to a conceptual product while still asking people to pay for it. But to its credit, Amazon seems to be constantly improving Echo by expanding its functionality. The latest update makes Echo compatible with Google Calendar (one of the web services offered by Google that Amazon doesn't directly compete with) thanks to a selection of voice commands.
According to an email sent to Echo owners, you can now ask Echo (or Alexa, if you've allowed your semi-sentient monolith to retail a sense of identity) "What's on my calendar" to get a quick overview of your upcoming events. Read More
The Android M Developer Preview was released just yesterday and we're all very closely examining the changes. While there's still quite a bit to dig through, it looks like Google is getting some of the source code up right away. Before anybody gets too excited, it's likely that this code dump occurred to ensure GPL compliance. However, there are quite a few projects in the changelog that wouldn't normally require updates due to licensing, so there may be quite a bit more going live on this release.
The entire changelog totals about 29,000 commits and weighs in at about 4.7 MB. It's not entirely clear where the official starting point would be, but we generated the changelog from 5.1.1_r4, which is currently the latest release available. Read More
We reported yesterday on Google's announcement that Android M would support deep links that skip the sometimes-annoying app selector prompt. Details were scarce at the time and many were worried that this would shut out third party apps or make it hard to view content with a browser when it might be more appropriate.
If you go to an app from the list within the "apps" section of the system settings, you will see something like the first picture. You can set defaults and decide whether that app should open its own links without asking. If you go to the advanced area instead of selecting an app, you will see the second screenshot. Read More